Liberal Arts, Spring 2014, Issue II
“Why do you eat turkey at Thanksgiving?” asked a 10 year old boy during a presentation by Amelia, from Barnard College, on the American festivity. Amelia explained that there were a lot of wild turkeys in America so they ate the animals that were available. Amelia and six other students participated in a service learning project in an elementary school, Escola Collserola, with children from 3 to 12 years old. Sarah, of University of Colorado Boulder, read the story The Big Enormous Turnip to the 3 years old kids. “You missed my picture with all the kids hugging me” Laura from University of Minnesota Twin Cities, told me after she read The Wheels on the Bus story to first graders who also sang the song and drew their own busses.
The service learning project is part of the CIEE Advanced Grammar, Composition and Conversation II class, and after volunteering the students interviewed the school principal and the Academic Committee to learn about the educational system and compare it to the US. After the event we had an in class discussion about it and it and will base some composition and a cultural oral presentation assignments around the visit. This project is also part of the intercultural competence component that we are using to enhance our CIEE classes.
The visit even made the local newspaper! You can see the article “Collserola School Improves Its English With American Students” here: “http://www.totsantcugat.cat/ca/notices/2014/02/l-escola-collserola-millora-el-seu-angles-amb-universitaris-nord-americans-19386.php
Students in the Spanish Linguistics class visited the Phonetics Laboratory at the Universidad de Barcelona. They learned how different sounds are made and they practiced with the lab's software that analyzes sounds. Students recorded their Spanish and compared it to the sounds produced by native speakers. They also found out about the work the phonetics laboratory does with speech therapy and forensics.
Weekend trip to Madrid and Toledo
This semester we visited Madrid and Toledo for our weekend trip. Students toured the Madrid of the Habsburgs, downtown Toledo and were able to admire some of the most important paintings in the art history such as Guernica by Picasso, Las Meninas by Velázquez or El Entierro del Conde Orgaz by el Greco. They also enjoyed taking pictures with a matador in Plaza Mayor and dipping a churro in a hot chocolate in the famous Chocolatería San Ginés.You can read more about the food in Spain in Christina’s, from Colby College, blog post: http://study-abroad-blog-barcelona.ciee.org/2014/03/comfort-food.html